Storylines to watch out for in Cardinals’ scrimmage on Friday

Photo By: Michael Hanich
Camden Fairview defensive end Xzayvion Morris gets set for a play in the scrimmage on Wednesday.
Photo By: Michael Hanich Camden Fairview defensive end Xzayvion Morris gets set for a play in the scrimmage on Wednesday.

The biggest game until football season starts is set for Friday, when the Camden Fairview Cardinals will host their annual spring football scrimmage.

This Friday's game will be the biggest evaluation of the Cardinals yet this offseason. It will also likely be the best look that coaches can get to see how players do on the field as they compete for positions before the start of fall camp.

The Cardinals have developed well this spring at the line of scrimmage, the defensive backs and in the passing game. But there are still plenty of areas that will need to be addressed if the Cardinals want to be state title contenders once again.

This Friday could be an excellent opportunity for players to make names for themselves and potentially climb higher on the depth chart.

Who will step in at receiver?

The Cardinals are having to replace two high-volume playmakers at receiver. They have great confidence in last year's leading receiver, junior Trent Haygood, who received his first offer to play college football earlier this week. Offensive coordinator Lance Stone said he is confident that the Cardinals' high-power passing offense will have several reliable receivers going into the 2023 season.

One receiver that will be getting looks on Friday is senior Jayden Goodwin, who caught three receptions for 74 yards and a touchdown last week in a mini-scrimmage. Goodwin is an established route-runner with starting experience on the Cardinals' offense. He has gotten better through the offseason, especially in putting himself in comfortable situations against his assigned man-coverage cornerback. He has faced problems with the occasional drops, especially in big-play situations.

Junior wide receiver William Henton and senior receiver and starting safety Jabuaree Lockhart are players that made big plays for the second-team offense in the mini-scrimmage last week. Henton took a direct handoff on a jet sweep that resulted in a 40-yard play. Lockhart was a matchup problem against the second-team offense, as he caught two receptions for 100 yards. His biggest play was a short pass to the outside that resulted in a 75-yard touchdown play.

Henton and Lockhart could both get more first-team reps at receiver after Friday's game.

Cardinals will look to seriously improve their run game

One of the biggest goals for the Cardinals' offense is to solidify the run game. Last season, the Cardinals turned to senior slot receiver A.J. Alsobrook and Haygood for more dynamic packages. The Cardinals will look to utilize a more traditional running attack with a set of running backs and Haygood back at his natural position this season.

Sophomore Jaden Porchia has taken multiple first-team reps in practices and the mini-scrimmage last week. In the scrimmage, Porchia rushed for 26 yards on five rushes. He has been needed after junior Kenneth Lanford suffered a lower body injury earlier in the offseason.

Porchia will get his best chance to develop this offseason by taking reps in a game environment, where he can work on his tempo and energy. He will be a solid support at the line of scrimmage with an experienced offensive line that returns all five of their starters.

Who will be the enforcers at the front seven?

The defense of the Cardinals were led last year by the high-volume playmaking abilities of defensive end Jacovey Barker and defensive tackle Mark Welch. This past season, the Cardinals looked to returning defensive end Kameron Easttam and defensive end D.J. King. Since the start of last season, Easttam and King were the dominant playmakers as they constantly disrupted the opposing offenses.

With those players gone, the Cardinals will need to find some new reliable playmakers to be the heart and soul of the defense. Their jobs are to be the dominant enforcer to make life difficult for opposing offenses.

Senior defensive end Xzayvion Morris will get his chance as a starter after backing up Barker, Easttam and King and learning their key pass rush schemes last season. The end-result might give Morris the potential to be a special dominant playmaker on the defensive line.

It would help the Cardinals to have a second playmaker emerge in the spring scrimmage.

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